Comic Book Review: War Machine #1

January 13, 2009 by  

War Machine #1, the first issue of a series born from the Dark Reign saga, has a very gritty, urban feel to it from start to finish, which to me, can either be a positive for audiences, or a negative.

The issue opens with War Machine, AKA Jim ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes, swooping in to ambush a group of mecenaries that have a reprogrammed sentinel in tow, who are about to wipe out a village of rebels in the third world country of Santo Marco. Rhodes’ intentions as the armored warrior are clear right away as he tears into the mercenaries without remorse, capturing one Parnell Jacobs, a man from Rhodes’ past, at the end of the onslaught.

After a brief flashback, where we see Rhodes torn to pieces, literally, after a battle, resembling Peter Weller’s character from Robocop, before his transformation, we cut to an orbiting space platform serving as War Machine’s impromptu headquarters where he enlists Jacobs’ aid, albeit involuntarily, to make repairs and modifications to his armor.

The artwork by Leonardo Manco serves the story well with its gritty, urban feel. It puts the character in a ‘realistic’ light as he deals with the bad guys on their own ground. The story moves along at a very rapid pace, sometimes feeling a bit jerky. There were a few spots where I wasn’t sure what was happening for a second, then as I pulled back from the page and saw the whole picture, all became clear. I’m curious to see where this title will go, and if it’s able to keep its look, which gives it a unique, if not somewhat out of place, feel.

War Machine #1 pulls no punches, and I have a feeling that Jim Rhodes won’t be pulling any either. When he pulls the trigger, he deals out justice, or revenge, Rambo style. It’s up to the reader to decide which way he’s going.

War Machine #1 – Marvel Comics
Writer – Greg Pak
Pencils and Cover – Leonardo Manco
Colorist – Jay David Ramos
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna
Production – Joe Sabino
Assistant Editor – Michael Horwitz
Editor – Bill Roseman
Editor in Chief – Joe Quesada
Publisher – Dan Buckley
Rated T+


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